Tata researches new uses for BF off-gasses, inc CO2

Tata Steel Europe (formerly Corus) is looking at using blast furnace waste gases, and in particular CO2, to spur the growth of algae for making biofuels.The project involves a new technology developed by Prof Zimmerman at Sheffield University.

5 November 2010 Tata Steel has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Process Innovation to establish a new High Temperature Innovation Centre at its Teesside Technology Centre in the UK, Steel Business Briefing understands.

One of the centre’s research objectives is trialling the use of waste and plastics as alternative fuels in blast furnaces, SBB learns. The facility will include a 350kg pyrolysis oven and a 2-metre diameter fully flexible gasifier.

“The project could offer a step change from existing technologies in terms of improved performance, energy efficiency and lower raw material costs similar to that offered by pulverised coal injection (PCI) since the late ‘90s,” SBB hears from a market observer.

Half of the £5 million ($8m) investment cost will come from One North East, the regional development agency covering Teesside.

In addition, Tata’s steelworks in Scunthorpe is hosting a Sheffield University research project into producing biofuel using blast furnace gases. The project feeds the carbon dioxide in waste gases to algae. The algae then produce biomass which can be turned into biofuels.

The process needs industrials facilities to be located near the sea. Tata Steel Europe’s major steelworks could all be suitable locations, SBB notes.


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